There’s an old joke where you ask someone what’s the most important thing about comedy. When they get to about the word “important,” you interrupt them and say, “Timing!” Perhaps the same thing can be said for photography. [Ted Kinsman’s] students at the Rochester Institute of Technology would probably agree. They built an Arduino-based rig to do inexpensive stop action photography.
As Arduino projects go, it isn’t very sophisticated. The circuit contains a sound detection module and an optoisolator. The code would easily fit on a piece of notebook paper. When a loud sound occurs, the Arduino triggers the flash. Simple enough, but the resulting pictures are amazing. It also looks like a lot of fun to destroy perfectly good things in the name of art.
If you are interested in photography, there are enough photos of their setup to give you some ideas about lighting, reflectors, and camera angles. If you are not a photography fan, you still should check out the post to see more of the pictures the students took.
Interestingly, [Dr. Harold Edgerton] at MIT pioneered this technique starting back in 1937 and you’ve probably seen some of his famous photographs like the bullet through the apple or the milk drop crown. He used the same techniques to take photographs of the atomic bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s.